Elsah, Illinois -

Principia College’s Department of Theatre and Dance will present its annual Dance Production Thursday, April 10, through Saturday, April 12, in Cox Auditorium, nightly at 8 p.m. There is also a 2 p.m. performance on Saturday. This year’s Dance Production will debut the new work Found, choreographed by former American Ballet Theatre (ABT) dancer John Gardner and featuring former ABT prima ballerina Amanda McKerrow. 

During their distinguished careers, Gardner and McKerrow performed and worked with many renowned dancers and choreographers, including George Balanchine, Agnes de Mille, Martha Graham, Twyla Tharp, Merce Cunningham, and Paul Taylor, among others. Since retiring from the stage, they have worked as répétiteurs for the Antony Tudor Ballet Trust, traveling to Europe, Japan, and throughout the United States staging its exceptional repertoire. 

Gardner and McKerrow have conducted workshops at Principia College in previous years, staging both Tudor and original works and teaching classes. However, this is the first time that McKerrow has performed on Principia’s stage. 

“When we arrived for rehearsals with Principia dancers in January, I pretty much knew what I wanted to say in this new ballet,” Gardner says. “The piece evolved as we engaged with the students during rehearsals. We love working with Principia dancers because they are full of trust, openness, and humor. While the piece certainly has a serious tone, it is actually full of hope.” 
Principia’s Dance Production also includes a new solo for senior Josephine Christian choreographed by Cecil Slaughter, senior lecturer at Washington University. The show will feature modern, African, lyrical, and Bollywood dance styles showcasing Principia students, nine of which are choreographed and directed by students.  

“The diverse array of dance styles that will be presented is exciting,” Principia dance professor Hilary Harper-Wilcoxen explains. “Styles range from ballet and hip-hop to an eclectic fusion that defies any straightforward categorization. A majority of the pieces are driven by a narrative story that reflects the heartfelt concerns of these talented student choreographers.”

Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students. Cash and checks will be accepted at the door. To purchase tickets in advance with a credit card, go to http://community.principiaalumni.org/redirect.aspx?linkID=5535&eid=78030. Seating is unreserved. http://community.principiaalumni.org/redirect.aspx?linkID=5534&eid=78030.

About Principia College:

Principia College is a century-old co-educational institution whose campus, designed by Bernard Maybeck and located on 300-foot bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River in Elsah, Illinois, has been designated a National Historic Landmark. Historically, the College has placed significant emphasis on educating its students for global citizenship. Today’s student body represents 37 states and 32 nations. Principia College is an NCAA Division III school. 

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